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Ways we have grown this month: in how we see communication

Liz Arriens

I am currently reading a book by Glenn and Janet Doman called, ‘How smart is your baby?’. They are known for their work in child development, especially for children with special educational needs. In the book they say, ‘all sounds are language’. I had to read the line again. It really struck me. Yes, yes they are. As the mother of a three-and-a-half-year-old who does not yet talk or have the receptive language to understand what we are saying, I agree, all sounds are language. All gestures are language too.   The line is a beautiful one for me.

I feel that I have moved on from a place of comparison where I look at the fluency of typical three-and-a-half-year-olds, and I have moved to a place of curiosity. But this line, in its simplicity, narrows any perceived gap of separateness. Yes, we have language too.   Do I feel differently about communication since having my daughter Coraline? Yes, I am much more aware of it. Appreciative of it. I see that communication is on many levels. I also see that we can communicate who we are without words.

I have previously written a post about when my dad said to me, ‘people like you for your essence’. I can actually choose a new perspective and realise that we connect with Coraline’s essence because, without words for us to focus on instead, her essence is there for us every day to connect with directly. I can choose to see that our communication is attuned because of our daily lives with Coraline. We have come to read her signs and know what they are indicating. We know her rhythms and habits and triggers for sensory overwhelm and methods to step her back from that. I know that tone is important.  

I now see communication as something that runs through us, through our whole being. It is in our energy, in our moods, in our movements. It is all around us. What have I learned? I have learned to connect to others with my whole being.